Italy returns: still no reply from Italian government on access
Yesterday, UNHCR issued a press release expressing our deep concern over the fate of hundreds of new arrivals on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, many of whom were reportedly being sent to Libya without proper assessment of their protection needs. Since the weekend, UNHCR has been asking the Italian government for access to these people, but as of this morning we still have not received a reply. We have a staff member on Lampedusa and are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
As we mentioned, UNHCR is also seeking access to those people who have been sent back to Libya to determine who among them may be in need of protection. So far, the Libyans have refused our request.